- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 8, 2013

More than 700 migrants and refugees, including 293 Syrians and Egyptians, were rescued off the coast of Sicily over the weekend, Agence France-Presse reported.

The Italian coast guard said it had rescued the migrants from troubled boats on Friday and Saturday, rushing a mother, father and their two young children to the hospital for emergency care, AFP reported.

One boat was carrying 207 migrants from Nigeria, Ghana and Eritrea. Another was carrying 212 migrants, but the coast guard did not specify where the passengers were from.

Two other troubled boats carrying a total of 293 Syrians and Egyptians were brought Friday to Augusta, on the eastern coast of Sicily, AFP said. The number of refugees trying to reach Italy has increased in recent months because of surging violence in Syria and Egypt.

The Italian Interior Ministry said more than 3,000 Syrians have arrived in Italy this year, AFP reported.

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